Days until Episode 7: 287
One of the most important elements in any movie is the soundtrack. Though sometimes overlooked, the soundtrack sets the mood, raises tensions, or adds to an epic action sequence. Star Wars is no exception, and with the musical genius of John Williams, the Star Wars soundtrack is regarded by many as one of the greatest movie scores of all time. While few are known by non-Star Wars fans, with the exception of the Imperial March and the main theme, you may recognize quite a few while listening to these. All the songs are great, but some stand above the others. This is my top ten star wars songs.
WARNING: Some spoilers in song descriptions
10. The Cantina Theme
One of the more well-known songs in the saga, this song can be heard in the Mos Eisly Cantina on Tatooine, when Obi-Wan and Luke meet Han Solo and Chewbacka. A happy and upbeat tune, this song sets itself with a distinct Jazzy feel, a large contrast from the other songs in the saga.
9. Padme’s Destiny
Arguably the saddest song in the saga, this theme is played at the end of Revenge of the Sith, during Padme’s funeral and the placement of Darth Vader into his iconic suit. A tragic and mournful song that reflects the occasion, this song makes good use of a massive choir and powerful chords.
8. Anakin’s Betrayal
A contender against Padme’s destiny for saddest song, this song plays multiple times in Revenge of the Sith, including, but not limited to: Anakin gaining the title of Darth Vader, Order 66, and Obi Wan’s final plea. Mostly orchestral, this piece uses high violin notes and once again, a powerful choir.
7. The Main Theme
Arguably the most iconic track in the saga, and cinema in general, this song does a great job of getting you pumped for the movie you’re about to watch. With loud trumpets and a powerful band, this song makes a great backdrop to the opening crawl.
6. Battle Over Coruscant
(Note: This video includes the main theme, which is not part of the song. For the actual song, skip to 1:20)
Following the iconic theme in Revenge of the Sith, this song continues to keep the excitement flowing through the audience. With powerful drums and great accompaniment from the brass section, this song adds a lot to an epic opening.
5. Duel of the Fates
Fast paced and exhilarating, this song’s best feature is once again its great choral work, and powerful strings in the background. This song can be found in the saga three times, during Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon’s duel against Darth Maul, during Anakin’s search for his mother on Tatooine, and during the duel between Yoda and Palpatine in the Senate chamber.
4. Across the Stars
With its flowing melody and subtle instrumentation, this song is the most beautiful in the saga in my opinion, and it fits the scenario perfectly. This song symbolizes the love of Anakin and Padme, leading to a sorrowful yet graceful song. This song’s tune and instrumentation reflects Leia’s remark about her mother: “She was very beautiful, but sad”.
3. The Imperial March
The second most famous song in the entire saga, this song is well-known as the theme for Darth Vader, or the empire in general. This song often brings to mind a fleet of Star Destroyers, an army of Stormtroopers, or Darth Vader menacingly entering a room.
2. The Force Theme
Many people would not recognize this song by name, or even while listening to it, but if one was actively waiting for it while watching the movies, they would hear it almost everywhere. Whether loud and epic, subtle and menacing, or quiet and pretty, an excerpt of this song, or a variation of it, manages to work its way into pretty much every tune in the saga. Most notably, this can be heard when Luke is looking at the binary sunset, and a militaristic version can be heard during the awards scene at the end of Episode four. I suggest listening to some of the other tunes on the list and seeing if you can find it.
Honorable Mentions: These are some songs that are still awesome and cool, but didn’t quite make the top ten.
March on the Jedi Temple: With a powerful rhythm and a strong band, this song is both epic and menacing.
The Emperor’s Theme: This dark and haunting theme perfectly reflects this evil character
The Credits: This song didn’t make the list because it varies in each movie, but it always provides a great collection of the movie’s best songs.(Note: this is the soundtrack for the credits of A New Hope. The actual credits music doesn’t start until 1:45.)
1. Battle of the Heroes
(Unfortunately, the only video with the theme exactly as it is played in the movie changed the pitch of the song to avoid copyright. if you want to hear it at the correct octave, try to find the individual songs, but my favorite part is the way they flow together)
Many non-star wars fans will question such a high placement of this song above favorites like the imperial march, in which case I will say that the imperial march is in this song, along with small snippets of every song in the saga. The entire track is over fifteen minutes long, so it is often divided into Padme’s Plea, Anakin VS. Obi-Wan, duel of the Fates, Battle of the Heroes, and the immolation. Since this final climax marks the end of one trilogy and the beginning of the next, this piece ties together the best tunes from each into its own epic score. This is including, but not limited to: Anakin’s betrayal, Padme’s destiny, Yoda’s theme, the Emperor’s Theme, Across the Stars, the Imperial march, Anakin’s Dark Deeds, Duel of the Fates, and the Force theme.
This was a very difficult list to make, as I love all the songs in the Star Wars saga. I know I left out some great ones, so feel free to leave an angry but clean comment below, as long as you include an idea for next week because I’m all out of ideas.